This weekend I was talking to a Republican Senator about the fiscal cliff debate. He had just left a meeting of a group of elected Republicans who were bemoaning the fact that they were "getting killed" by Obama's rhetoric, and they needed to come up with a plan for fighting back.
I was literally dumbstruck. The fact that Republicans are somehow surprised by Obama's strategy, and that they are caught flatfooted, without a strategy, was not something I had to be told, but I was sure shocked to hear it verbalized. At least they finally realize it, and will maybe now do something to get their act together. But I'm not holding my breath.
Obama has been playing at this divide and conquer game for over four years now. Conservatives seem to continually believe his unbelievable promises that he is going to suddenly start working with them in good faith. News flash: Barack Obama will never work with Republicans in good faith. His goal is not consensus, compromise, happy times of prosperity. His goal is fundamental transformation of the United States of America. He will continue to paint Republicans as the lovers of the "mega wealthy," determined to balance the budget on the backs of the "middle class" and parents of children with disabilities, all in order to get what he wants: bigger government, less freedom.
Republicans are thinking small. Their goal in the fiscal cliff debate: limit the tax increases to as few Americans as possible. Well, I guess they got something on that, but they were decimated, again, in the process. They were painted as the stone-wallers, they lacked principle, they cowered in the face of blame, and they stood for nothing.
Republicans face a very clear decision now. Are they going to continue on defense, being small and scared, and interested only in protecting their seats? Or are they going to become the principled, tenacious, unrelenting defenders of liberty and prosperity that we sent them there to be? We conservatives have the winning argument. But Congressional Republicans must realize they haven't lost the battle of ideas--they haven't even begun to fight that one. They are the victims of character assassination. They better launch that battle of ideas, and they better know what they stand for. A couple extra bucks in our pockets? No. They stand for liberty. And liberty is directly threatened when the government gets too big and spends too much. They better come up with some bold illustrations of that reality and be ready for the assault that will follow. Then get back up and fight again. This battle is too big for the faint of heart. Stand up, and start fighting.